The Coffee Spot could be in violation of lease agreement with ASUC

Kevin Foote /Senior Staff
Coffee Spot, currently located in Bears Lair, may have violated its lease.

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A Lower Sproul Plaza eatery is under fire for potentially not complying with its lease agreement.

Haitham Alloun, the owner of The Coffee Spot located in the Bear’s Lair Food Court, alleges that he received a letter from the ASUC stating that the eatery failed to meet lease requirements — including not generating enough income.

Last Friday, Alloun — who also owns the adjacent taqueria — went to the ASUC Commercial and Student Services Board meeting to discuss the letter. The board — formerly called the Store Operations Board — oversees ASUC commercial and income-producing activities.

Alloun said the letter was inaccurate and took issue with its short notice.

“It is just unethical,” Alloun said. “You cannot send me a letter like this with no notice.”

Alloun said he expressed his concerns with the letter during the meeting and stated that the letter wrongly accused his eatery of not doing enough business, among other claims.

According to Alloun, the board requires The Coffee Spot to earn $400,000 within three years of signing its lease. Alloun said his business surpassed this requirement within the first year of signing the lease and earned about $800,000 in two years.

According to the lease — which is set to end Sept. 31 — tenants must have a point of sale system, referring to software that handles payment transactions to make business more efficient.

Since The Coffee Spot signed its lease in October 2009, it has failed to attain a point of sale system, something that would put the vendor at grounds for having its lease terminated, according to Associate ASUC Auxiliary Director Tom Spivey.

Alloun said his eatery has not installed the system due to its approximately $15,000 cost. The Coffee Spot spent about $40,000 on renovations that ended in January 2011, he added.

“If we had not done the renovation we would have gotten (a point of sale system) yesterday,” Alloun said.

Spivey said that Alloun’s renovation of The Coffee Spot and the adjacent taqueria happened last year after the lease was signed, meaning that The Coffee Spot would have had the money to acquire a point of sale system before the renovation.

Anticipating the plaza renovation set to take place this fall, Alloun said he does not see the point of putting a point of sale system in place now.

“I was going to put a point of sale system in, but then I found out they were going to demolish the building,”  Alloun said. “I signed my lease before this came up.”

Editor’s Note: In May 2009, the board forgave The Daily Californian a portion of its rent for the office it leases. As a result of that agreement, a nonpolitical student member of the board, currently Hedy Chen, sits on the Daily Cal’s Board of Operations, which has no control over the paper’s editorial content.